Daily Archives: November 12, 2007

Coast Guard fiddles, stonewalls, whitewashes, impedes volunteeers

Once again, if it doesn’t involve terrorism, the US is not interested in dealing with disasters. Sen. Feinstein decided to get in front of the cameras, just to act indignant. The feeble Coast Guard response to the San Francisco Bay oil spill is typical. The beaches have zero workers from the government, which is also trying to keep volunteers from doing what they can. As a result, the oil slick is going to disrupt the ecosystem for years to come. And our federal government gives not a shit.

What is so hard about figuring out that we will have oil spills, and having a federal response team available? like the smoke jumpers? geez….

And Sen. Feinstein, thanks for the talk…., why don’t you DO something? Oh, I forgot, your pal Bush has our National Guard over in Iraq….


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Filed under China: "junk" is not just a boat, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, San Francisco

Updated:Don’t make your own yogurt without that ‘Made in China’ appliance

Our “MiC” yogurt maker died last year, of unknown causes. Probably just as well, as the alternative was probably that it would catch fire or be found to contain arsenic.

It turns out that yogurt makers are not very popular items these days. Don’t know why. But you can’t just walk into Sears or most of the big box stores and buy one. I have located some on ‘the miracle that is the internet,’ but I also found this story:

I was going to buy this yogurt maker, but after I read a review that said there was no thermostat in this machine, despite what the manufacturer claims (someone actually took it apart and looked!) – I decided to do further research. What I found was that I already had everything I needed to make my own yogurt – my oven. My oven has better temperature control and it doesn’t take up counter space.

Making yogurt basically involves mixing milk with a “starter” (usually plain, unpasteurized yogurt) and keeping it at a temperature where the “good” bacteria will multiply and turn the rest of the milk into yogurt. Everything needs to be really clean so you don’t introduce “bad” bacteria into the mix. Other methods I had heard about involved scalding the milk and sterilizing the containers and everything else — sounded like a pain. But I found a method that works really well for lazy people like me, with no scalding and no sterilization, and no special equipment:

Get a quart-size carton of milk and some yogurt, both at room temperature. Open the milk carton, pour some out to make room in the carton, and add 1/2 c. of plain yogurt with live cultures (like Straus Creamery or Dannon plain yogurt). Close up the carton again, clip shut, and shake it gently to mix up the milk and yogurt. As for the milk you poured out (you saved it right?), that’s going to be your starter for the next batch, so add a couple teaspoons of yogurt to that, give it a good stir, and cover tightly. Get an old (but clean!) bath towel and wrap both in it. Place on a cookie sheet and place in 110 degree F oven. “Bake” at 110 degrees overnight – around 12 hours – remove from oven and refrigerate. Perfect European-style yogurt! (For the thicker American style, add powdered milk along with your yogurt “starter.”) Best of all, there’s no need to pre-heat/scald the milk (not necessary if you use pasteurized milk) and no cleaning (since you make the yogurt right in the paper milk carton straight from the store). Any size milk carton will work — just adjust the amount of starter accordingly.

We go through 4 quarts of yogurt a week, so I make 2 big milk cartons’ worth each time. If I used the Salton, I would have to run it four times to get the same amount of yogurt.

I’m on board !! Let’s see how well this works!

Update: this method is not without problems:

our oven won’t go this low, and certainly the control isn’t accurate; putting a paper carton and a towel in the oven???.

getting the ingredients to mix is not that simple.

its messy.

how do you get solid yogurt out of the milk carton?


Filed under China: "junk" is not just a boat, economics, food/drink

North Korea didn’t have WMD, either ???!!!

Bush/Cheney’s “intelligence” on North Korea is looking just about like their “intelligence” on Iraq.  And of course, they are spouting the same lines about Iran.

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Filed under Condoleezza Rice: tell me again, what is her job?, Congress, Countdown to attack on Iran, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Iran, Iraq, Politics, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him

Andrew Sullivan: won’t give up the race card


It is a pity that educated people find it necessary to continue to be nativists, to try to make much of skin color, to try to find differences, rather than treat all people as individuals and equals in the face of the law and whatever god there might be.

Whatever in the world does the racial profile of Olympic sprinters have to do with the world of Andrew Sullivan? Really. What is the purpose of such a statement? It’s just to crack open the door to bigotry. It goes like this: “Now that we’ve established that “they” are “different,” let’s just push ahead to “they‘re not like ‘us…”

This is the kind of wink, wink crap I expect to hear repeated by the alienated right, but I didn’t think Andrew Sullivan was part of that crowd. I guess I was wrong.

A pity. Maybe it’s time to dust off some slurs about gays. A little cold water for Mr. Sullivan.

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Filed under bigotry and prejudice, blogging, Politics, Racism, religion, Republican politicians: are any of them normal

Cartoon of the week


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Filed under George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Humor, Politics, religion

Alan Dershowitz cites Nazi success as reason to use torture.

link to Larisa Alexandrovna:

Welcome to the desert of the real in which a Jewish man can cite Nazis in defense of torture tactics. I was raised on the Holocaust. I went to a highly religious school where many of my teachers and guest lecturers were Holocaust survivors.

My family talked about the Holocaust at every opportunity, remembering those who were imprisoned, tortured, and murdered, including members of my family. I lived under the Soviet regime, which also tortured and murdered.  I have never met or spoken with any Jew who has ever defended torture, no matter who the “scapegoat” is.

Apparently, there are some Jews who are more than willing to become the very monsters they abhor. This mentality I do not understand and never will.

Take for example the latest Alan Dershowitz column in the Wall Street Journal. Aside from getting the new meme on Mukasey about how the Democrats are beholden to MoveOn.org – echoed by meister Rove, President Bush, Dick Cheney, and the right wing propaganda machine as if one ring ruled them all – Dershowitz actually writes this:

“There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works–it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.”

This statement defies logic. Even if in some instances Nazi tactics worked, why would anyone endorse them for any reason, especially a Jewish man? Dershowitz, and others like him – Joe Lieberman, et al – do not speak for Jews, nor do they speak for Israel. In fact, the far right regime that has co-opted Israel and the US both is not representative of Judaism or Christianity for that matter. Whatever or whomever it is they represent, it is not the Israeli people or the American people. It is as though a multi-national organized crime syndicate has taken over both countries and is using the cover of religion as a shield against criticism.

No Jew, at least no Jew in touch with Jewish values, would ever support torture. When torture becomes policy for politically influential American and Israeli Jews, then the whole of our history becomes polluted with monsters whose crimes we lose the right to condemn.


Filed under Dianne Feinstein betrays the voters trust, Dick Cheney: Hannibal Lector in disguise?, FEMA/Homeland Security, George W. Bush: is he really THAT bad?, Hillary Clinton:what does she stand for?, Mitt Romney: double guantanamo, Republican politicians: are any of them normal, Rudy Giuliani: NYC doesn't even like him, Smokey award finalist, Torture: you're next